{*FAQs about Pads*}


I've gotten a lot of questions in the past few weeks about cloth menstrual pads and I wanted to create a blog post where I explain them. This is a frank discussion, I'm not embarrassed or ashamed of my menstrual cycle, so this talk is going to be pretty blunt and hopefully will shed some light on cloth!

I own a cloth menstrual pad shop called modernacorn. The info that I'm going to share with you is just *my personal experience* and mainly about my own pads, simply because these are what I make and what I wear. This is by no means about anyone elses pads or my suggesting that I'm better than anyone else, a simple google search will bring up tons of great websites and sellers, I'm just one little seller who would like to share my personal knowledge with you!

I started wearing cloth for two reasons:

  1. I hated seeing how much trash I was consuming on a monthly basis. I was throwing away approximately 15-25 pads per cycle and flushing about that in tampons. Not good. Now I'm only one woman, imagine the entire planets worth of women...for their lives until they hit menopause. That's a scary, scary, SCARY amount of waste.
  2. I suffered from frequent yeast infections due to a medication I was taking that plastic pads made worse and uncomfortable.

Frequently people assume cloth pads are bulky, uncomfortable, unhygienic, difficult to take care of and won't work for them, so I'm going to answer some FAQs about pads!


  1. How do you keep pads clean? How much work is involved?

This is totally different for every woman. You *can* make cloth work with *any* schedule. You really can. How I take care of my pads differs from month to month depending on my schedule.

You can:

  • Hand wash: Either daily or at the end of your cycle you can take all your pads with water as cold as you can stand it and you can rinse them until the water runs clear, depending on your flow this can take a few minutes or an hour. Cold water prevents stains from setting.
  • Toss them in the laundry: Just toss your pads in the wash with towels, I say towels because that's the load that I wash separately from my clothes, so kitchen towels, bathroom towels, bath towels. Wash on whatever setting you like, I wash on hot as a personal preference, but cold will increase your chances of not staining.
  • Hand wash & Soak: If you'd like to have stain free pads, one of the best options is to soak your pads after hand washing them. I used a big huge lidded jar that my mom bought at TJMaxx for under $20! It was originally from Pottery Barn, awesome deal! I know lots of ladies who go to thrift stores and come up with some great soak jars!!!! Your jar should have a well fitting lid and you should be able to lift it when its full of water. I stuff my entire cycles worth of hand washed pads in there with a scoop of either biokleen (as pictured above) or oxyclean. I then just let them sit there until laundry day. *BUT*, my jar has an air tight seal, so I don't change the water in it, if you don't have an air tight seal, change the water often so your pads don't become musty! I'll leave my pads in there until next laundry day, then I just toss them in the washer and dryer. It's an extra step but your pads come out sparkling clean and if your at all worried about candida or germs in general, you might like this option, since its technically three different times that you are washing your pads.
  • I put my pads in the dryer. I use fabric softener sheets. A lot of women do not like fabric softener as it can "coat" your pad and affect its absorbency, I've never used it before, so I can't say this is 100% true or not. I do hang dry my pads during the summer. The sun has a great way of naturally brightening your pads, just think of accidentally leaving clothes on the line during a hot summer day and realizing your clothes have faded ;)
  • What about the snaps? Won't they melt in the dryer?
    • Nope! The only time I've ever melted snaps is when I've accidentally ironed them and it was more of a dent, rather than a puddle :) Snaps can appear to fit not as tightly together after being in the dryer, I'm not 100% sure why, I've had this happen with my own pads as well as pads made by others. Even if they aren't 100% tight in their sockets, they won't be loose enough to pull apart while wearing.
  • What are your favorite detergents?
    • I know the idea of hand washing pads to some ladies is a little daunting, so I always suggest ecover stain remover. It has a great little built in scrubber so you can really get stains out and you don't need to use your fingers or sponges.  It has a great smell, a little bottle goes a very long way and its made for protein based stains. Other wise I use Ecovers Delicate Wash just because I really love the smell and how nice and bright my fabrics look when I use it. I switch between biokleen and oxyclean for my soak jar, I honestly buy whatever is on sale, but really, I only buy it maybe twice a year because one scoop goes a long way!




  • What does core mean? How bulky are cloth pads? What is bamboo? I'm confused!!!
    • I get this question a LOT! So I'm going to start by talking about how cores are constructed. Think of the anatomy of a pad like a sandwich (I know, weird!)
    • Pretty fabric goes against your skin. You can wear the anti-pill fleece side against your skin, but I don't recommend it because it can pull your bodies natural moisture away from you and can irritate you.
    • Inside the pretty fabric is a strip of fabrics that have been serged together to compress them (make them thinner), the amount of layers depends on the level of absorbency. The above photos show the top layer, it has disappearing ink on it, that's organic 100% cotton fleece, then comes two layers of bamboo fleece. They get serged into the hourglass shape. The end result of those three layers is around two quarters (money value) thick. This will become thinner as the pad is top stitched because the thread compresses the layers together further.
      • I buy Organic !00% cotton fleece that has been grown and milled in the USA. Cotton fleece is the same stuff as cotton terry cloth (like towels!) only the fabric has been brushed and the loops have been broken (terry cloth is loopy). Cotton is great because its breathable and dries very quickly. This is always the first layer in my cores because it pulls fluid down and away from your body fast and dries quick, which keeps you feeling dry.
      • I also use Bamboo fleece. Bamboo is an amazing fiber, it's extremely absorbent, its sustainable, it's said to have anti bacterial properties, its really an amazing fabric.
    • After the core comes anti-pill fleece. Fleece works well by creating a barrier between the core and your panties, so for some reason if you start to soak through the core, the fleece will push the fluid back through the core instead of onto your undies. Think about wearing a fleece jacket in the rain, moisture just beads up. Some women are confused why an ecofriendly product would use antipill fleece, I think it gets a bad name because people think about products like cheap blankets, but I buy from two local shops and the fleece is actually made from recycled plastic bottles! Neat! I don't know if this is true about all antipill fleece, but again, I can only speak for the products I personally buy and use!


See? That is the core after being sewn to the top fabric. After this happens I sew a piece of antipill fleece to the right side (printed cute side) of the fabric and turn and top stitch. That just means that I flip the pad inside out, so both right sides (the smooth fleece side and the cute printed side) are showing. I do NOT stitch through the core and anti-pill fleece after the pad has been completely assembled, I had an extremely embarrassing incident during my first few months as a cloth pad user when my flow literally followed the sewn lines and seeped through onto my panties and...white linen pants. SO! I only sew around the edges of the pad and the wings.


  • How much can these absorb? More than disposable pads? Will they leak? How do I know what pad is right for me?
    • Well, sometimes I like to pretend that I'm someone scientific, like Bill Nye The Science Guy and I do little experiments. So the above pad is my own, clearly, I'm a fan of chickens and what I've done is tared out the scale of the pads weight and paper weight, then I've added water, this pad has only two layers of cotton fleece as my own personal flow isn't too heavy and you can see, it held an ounce of water. Ok, granted, an ounce might not sound like much, but that's the same amount as most menstrual cups hold before you have to empty them! I'm also not at all claiming to be a doctor or a nurse or anything, but I'm pretty sure menstrual fluid weighs more than water, so I could have kept going and seen how long I could keep adding water until it leaked but I wanted to just give a rough estimate. If anyone is really super curious and tries this at home, let me know how it worked out for you! Plus, I took this photo at 6 am and it was cold ;)
    • I can't tell you *specifically* if they are more absorbent than such & such brand of disposable pads because, to be blunt, I always bled through disposable pads & I don't own any to do any scientific tests with, haha, but with cloth, aside from my white linen pants incident, I've never bled through. I own a variety of cloth pads, made by myself, made by others, made by companies, not once has one ever leaked. I do change my pads often, generally every time I use the bathroom. I use about 3-5 "medium" pads daily on heavier days, one night pad a cycle, and then around 10 light pads, as I spot. 
    • How many pads do you need? What is right for me?
      • I'm never sure how to answer this as everyone is different. A good place to start is to look in your bathroom, how many overnight packages do you have? Are you more a liner kinda gal? Do you barely use pads at all? Are you buying them in bulk at Costco once a month? Once you can answer those questions, you can start buying pads. I know that when I first started cloth I only had 5 and I was washing them multiple times during my cycle. But I realized that out of those 5 I really only loved 3. Cloth pads are similar to mainstream pads, some will fit you better than others so its important to shop around!


  • What about cost?!!? These things are pricey and its a big investment! Disposable are cheaper!!!
    • Your right! Cloth pads can be expensive. I know my pads can be pretty pricey, but the investment pays itself off!
      • For example, say you buy 2 packages of pads a month:
        • I did a little on line searching and I used to use natracare brand pads, the cheapest price I found was on drugstore.com for $4.99 for 14. Ok, granted, I know you can buy pads cheaper, store brands, etc, but I'm using one ecofriendlier pad option :) So for $9.98 you have 28 pads. Awesome! Sounds like a great deal! Now lets see that cost for a year:
          • $119.76...ouch I'm not going to even go into the cost for a lifetime..
          • For $119.76 you can have from my shop:
          • 2 11 inch overnight pads at around $15 each-$30
          • 5 9.5 inch medium pads at around $9.50- $47.50
          • 2 8.5 inch light/medium pads at around $8.50- 10.50
          • 3 Reversible Daily pads, so really 6 since they are reversible at around $6.50 each- 19.50
            • The grand total of those is $107.50. You still have money left over to either buy different sizes, donate, go to a movie, whatever!

Ok, I didn't include shipping or taxes, but you get the idea especially since...CLOTH PADS ARE REUSABLE. You invest for a year, slowly build up your stash until you phase out disposable pads and decide what pads work best for you and you never, ever have to invest again. I have pads that are three and four years old right now and still look as great as the day I bought them because I took good care of them and I made sure I bought from places using high quality fabrics to begin with. Yes, higher quality pads cost more, but they will also last a lot longer!

Well..I think that's about all for now! If you have any questions, please feel free to comment! I know this is a lot of info for one post! Again, this is all my personal experience and opinions! This post isn't meant to sell my own pads, but to get ladies thinking about cloth as an option and I'm using my own pads as an example because I know how they are made, prices, etc :)

Hope that helps!!! I'll add more to this post in the future as more questions get asked!!!

Thanks so much and have a fantastic day!!! xoxo